I saw this one come through a couple of days ago – however its always interesting seeing Matt (Cutts) respond to these questions. Its something I think he does very well and something that I think in turn allows him to just about keep his ‘one of us’ tag.
In the latest of the series of Google videos on YouTube Matt answers the question, “how many search algorithm changes were made in 2009?” In response to that question, Matt made the following points
- Google likely makes roughly a change per day to the search algorithm.
- They don’t necessarily release those changes each day, but they will release them in batches.
- In 2009, they probably had between 350 to 400 or so changed to the search algorithm.
- These changes could include how they ‘segment a language’ or a tweak to Synonyms
It should be noted that Matt does mention a couple of examples in the video, and I would particularly draw note to the examples he used. These aren’t massive changes but often subtle behind the scenes changes that potentially a number of users wouldn’t even notice. Thus these 350-400 changes won’t all affect your day to day optimisation.
It does however highlight the level of potential flux that could exist within the algorithm itself and thus the changeable nature of the search engine results.